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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 11
November 12, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ARZ at CLE JAX at TEN WAS at CAR NYJ at IND DAL at NE
ATL at NO KC at CIN Sun 4 PM GB at TB Mon 9 PM
BAL at MIA NYG at PHI DET at SEA MIN at OAK PIT at SF
HOU at BUF STL at CHI SD at DEN Updated Times EST
   
Minnesota vs Oakland Sun, Nov 16; 4 PM on FOX at Network Associates Coliseum
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 20 0 270, 3
RB Michael Bennett 60 20 0
RB Moe Williams 60,1 30 0
TE J. Kleinsasser 0 40,1 0
WR Randy Moss 0 120,2 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 30 0
WR D'Wayne Bates 0 20 0
  Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Rick Mirer 10 0 190,1
RB Charlie Garner D D D
RB Tyrone Wheatley 70,1 20 0
RB Justin Fargas 60 0 0
TE Teyo Johnson 0 30 0
WR Tim Brown 0 30 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 60,1 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 40 0

Game Prediction: MIN 31, OAK 20

Update: Garner has not practiced and has limited motion from the bruise to his tailbone. He has been downgraded to doubtful. I am keeping the numbers the same for Fargas and Wheatley who should combine for a nice afternoon. The interesting tact is if the Raiders will use this opportunity to see what Fargas has to offer for next season or play the safer route of letting Wheatley be the primary rusher again.

The Vikings looked like NFC Champs the first six weeks and now cannot buy a win in the past three weeks. But the Raiders persist in problems and the best feature this game can offer is shoot-out between two teams with bad defenses. The Vikings clearly have the better means to score.

Minnesota Notes

The Vikings plummet down to 6-3 and still lead the NFC North by two games but after the loss in San Diego, there are no smiles in Minneapolis. Considering they have lost their last three games, they better get that frown turned upside down quickly before Moss reverts to being Moss again.

Quarterbacks: Daunte Culpepper comes off his best game this season - he threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 42 yards on six scrambles. In every game he has played this season, Culpepper has had multiple scores.

Running backs: Michael Bennett only was only in on about 15 plays last week and had five carries for 23 yards and two catches for 22 more yards. Moe Williams had the big game, gaining only 45 yards on 12 carries but adding 11 catches for 126 yards and two scores later in the game as the secondary covered the wideouts and forced Culpepper to dump the ball off.

This week Bennett should see more yards and Williams have less need to catch so many passes but as poorly as the Vikings defense has played, there is no guarantee. The only sure thing is that Onterrio Smith is just a kick returner now.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss started the game out with his standard first quarter touchdown and ended the game with a total of 120 yards on 11 catches but received a mild concussion late in the game and missed some plays. He was a decoy at the end but is expected to be fine this week.

The rest of the wideouts had only one catch each and when Moss is not available, the passing game turns more heavily into throwing to backs and tight ends.

Tight Ends: Jim Kleinsasser continues to be a bigger force in the game plan, catching five passes for 61 yards last week. He had one more throw (6) than all other non-Moss wideouts combined (5).

Match against the defense: If this defense can be burned by Santana Moss for 146 yards, imagine what Randy will do. The Raiders defense has been so bad lately, that teams have equal success against them.

As with all teams in the past five weeks, any player could have a good game against the Raiders and for Minnesota that favors Culpepper, Moss and Williams with an interesting blend of Michael Bennett.

Oakland Notes

The Raiders slip to 2-7 on the season and are on a five game losing streak. There is little reason to expect a turnaround this week.

Quarterbacks: Rick Mirer handed off on his first 21 plays which undoubtedly made him realize "they don't really trust me much". To his credit, Mirer did finish with a relatively respectable 186 yards and one score with no turnovers. Though Gannon has not been ruled out this week, it is expected that Mirer gets another shot at mastering some handoff record.

Running backs: On the first offensive play, Charlie Garner gained nine yards and then left the game for good with an injured tailbone. The Raiders are always very evasive regarding injuries but I am assuming he is out this week pending more information that the Raiders will fight to not make public. The most telling aspect of the injury was that the Raiders needed him last week and he never played again. This suggests that the injury is enough that it would likely limit him this week at the least.

Tyrone Wheatley carried the ball 23 times last week for 75 yards and had three catches for 39 yards with only one lost fumble. Justin Fargas also fared well, with 16 runs for 62 yards,

Zack Crockett had the lone rushing score and was used, literally, on every running play near the goal line.

Wide Receivers: Jerry Porter had the lone passing score last week during his four catches for 27 yards but Mirer threw five passes each to Porter, Tim Brown (3-33) and Jerry Rice (4-41). The trio has a better chance at some numbers this week but with Mirer there will likely not take advantage.

Tight Ends: Mirer likes Teyo Johnson who had three catches for 30 yards.

Match against the defense: Like the Jets last week, the Vikings have been horrible against the run lately and should see plenty of Wheatley and Fargas, if not Garner this week.

The passing game will be there if Mirer can take advantage of it, but the Raiders will try to stay away from it as long as they can. Since Mirer is spreading the meager passing around, it is hard to determine who that will favor though Mirer showed a preference for Porter against Detroit.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
MIN Scores
1
7
4
28
19
10
OAK Allows
15
31
3
11
28
13
MIN AP
14
24
-1
-17
9
3
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
OAK Scores
25
19
20
15
15
27
MIN Allows
31
30
27
18
25
4
OAK AP
6
11
7
3
10
-23
Offensive ranks = #1 gains most points, Defensive ranks = #1 allows least points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
MIN
OAK
2003 Game Averages
OAK
MIN
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
269
180
Pass yards
220
269
2.6
1.0
Pass TDs
0.7
1.6
0.6
0.7
Interceptions
1.3
1.9
17
16
Rush yards
5
8
0.4
0.3
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
98
142
Rush yards
93
126
0.6
1.1
Rush TDs
0.9
0.9
59
41
Receive yards
35
58
0.4
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
190
116
Receive yards
150
164
1.9
0.4
Receive TD's
0.4
1.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
21
23
Receive yards
35
47
0.1
0.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.1
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.9
1.9
Field Goals
1.7
1.7
3.6
2.6
Extra Points
1.7
2.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.1
0.6
Fumbles
0.6
0.1
1.9
1.3
Interceptions
0.7
0.7
0.1
0.0
Touchdowns
0.1
0.0
2.3
2.4
Sacks
1.1
2.4
0.3
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Vikings (6-3)
Score Opp.
30-25 @GB
24-13 CHI
23-13 @DET
35-7 SF
39-26 @ATL
Week 6 BYE
28-20 DEN
17-29 NYG
27-30 GB
28-42 @SD
Week 11 @OAK
Week 12 DET
Week 13 @STL
Week 14 SEA
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 KC
Week 17 @ARZ
Raiders (2-7)
Score Opp.
20-25 @TEN
23-20 CIN
10-31 @DEN
34-31 SD
21-24 @CHI
7-13 @CLE
10-17 KC
Week 8 BYE
13-23 @DET
24-27 NYJ
Week 11 MIN
Week 12 @KC
Week 13 DEN
Week 14 @PIT
Week 15 BAL
Week 16 GB
Week 17 @SD

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points